As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The JRC in Geel has published today a document for the flexible scope accreditation of laboratories quantifying GMOs .
This European technical guidance is the result of stakeholders' consensus; facilitating the harmonisation of the accreditation of GMO testing laboratories in Europe and at the same time enabling laboratories to measure all authorised GMO events under accreditation.
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements in Geel has published today a European Guide on Flexible Scope Accreditation of laboratories quantifying GMOs. This document has undergone an extensive commenting phase by the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL) and has been submitted to the European co-operation of Accreditation (EA) in February 2013 for consideration to become an EA guidance document. In the meantime, thanks to the work initiated by the JRC, GMO testing laboratories and assessors can already use it.
While in the recent years the number of laboratories accredited for GMO testing under a flexible scope in Europe has increased, this European Guide facilitates further that different laboratories seek a flexible scope accreditation.
Laboratories worldwide are waiting for the publication of this document as for instance indicated during a recent networking event organised by the JRC in Ispra .
Legislation in the EU regulates the placing on the market of food and feed consisting of, containing or produced from GMOs. As the number of new genetically modified (GM) events for which authorisation is granted is increasing rapidly every year, and as GMO testing laboratories are obliged to operate under ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, the testing laboratories need to take up new GM events within their scope of accreditation in a timely manner. Therefore, the guide contributes to harmonisation and supports the detection of all GMOs authorised in Europe under accreditation.
The scope of this guidance document is to ensure a harmonised flexible scope accreditation within Europe, according to ISO/IEC 17025:2005. It gives guidance to laboratories that are considering to acquire a flexible scope of accreditation. It also provides information for assessors involved in the accreditation process of these laboratories. As the method of choice in Europe for the quantification of GMOs is real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for GM events authorised in the EU, the document focusses on the quantification of GMO by qPCR.